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McAsey Backs measures to decrease Opioid, Heroin addiction

4/7/2015, 12:10 a.m.
As part of her efforts to decrease the use of opioids and heroin in our communities, state Rep. Emily McAsey ...

As part of her efforts to decrease the use of opioids and heroin in our communities, state Rep. Emily McAsey is sponsoring legislation aimed at curbing drug use and increasing overdose reporting.

“Opioid addiction is a growing problem in our community,” McAsey said. “According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, there has been a 56 percent increase in overdose-related deaths in recent years. State and community officials have a responsibility to act quickly to address this problem.”

New technology has allowed the drug industry to develop pain medication with abuse-deterrent properties, which drastically reduces the addictive properties of the drug and abuse-related deaths. McAsey is sponsoring House Bill 2743, which requires health insurance companies to cover prescriptions for these pain killers.

As Will County continues to combat escalating opioid and heroin use, McAsey also introduced House Bill 3936, requiring county coroners to report each death in which opioid overdose is a contributing factor to the Illinois Department of Public Health. The measure, known as Billy’s Bill, was brought to McAsey by a Will County family who lost their son to a drug overdose.

“I have heard from many families who have lost loved ones due to drug addiction,” McAsey added. “Until prescription drugs with fewer addictive properties are widely used, focusing on increased reporting will help health and law enforcement officials pinpoint and address drug use in our community. I am committed to working with local and state officials to reduce drug use throughout our community.”

To learn more about efforts in Will County to address opioid and heroin use, McAsey urges residents to attend the Hero Helps Community Summit on Friday, April 10 at the Romeoville Athletic & Events Center, located at 55 Phelps Ave. in Romeoville from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Organizations from across the region will be on-hand to provide information to the public about resources available.

For more information, please contact McAsey’s full-time constituent service office at 815-372-0085.